Rivers State Commissioner for Sports, Hon. Boma Iyaye has sympathised with the family of former national team goal keeper, Best Ogedegbe who died on Monday after an eye surgery.
This was contained in a statement signed by the press officer of the Ministry of Sports, Juliana Masi.
According to Iyaye, the death of former goalkeeper trainer of Dolphins FC of Port Harcourt was heartbreaking and he would be missed by all Nigerians, especially those in the sports industry in the country, particularly, Rivers State.
The commissioner prayed God to give the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable lost.
He further urged them to be strong as the good legacies left by Ogedengbe would not be forgotten easily.
Until his death, Ogedegbe was in the employment of Dolphins FC, Port Harcourt as goalkeeper trainer.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Football Federation NFF and the Nigerian Premier League NPL have expressed deep shock and huge sense of grief at the death of former national goalkeeper Best Ogedegbe, last week.
Ogedegbe was reported to have died after an eye operation at the University College Hospital, Ibadan on Tuesday last week.
In a letter to the family of the departed goaltender, signed by NFF General Secretary Dr Bolaji Ojo-Oba, the Federation wrote: “The death of the affable Best Ogedegbe, who was number one goalkeeper for the national senior team, Green Eagles, when they won the African Cup of Nations for Nigeria for the first time in 1980, has once again robbed our country of a true hero who worked hard and painstakingly for the growth and good of Nigeria football.
“It is on record that late Ogedegbe conceded ONLY one goal in all of Nigeria’s five matches at the African Cup of Nations in 1980, helping in no small way to ensure that the Green Eagles lifted the trophy on home soil with aplomb. His excellent goalkeeping skills are still being lauded almost three decades after.
“Late Ogedegbe was also a pivot of the national U-23 team, as Goalkeeper Trainer, as the team qualified for the 2008 Olympic Games in China and went to Beijing to dazzle the world, picking the silver medal in the process.
“Our consolation at this period is that the late Ogedegbe left his giant footprints in the sands of time. We pray that the Almighty God will grant his very gentle soul eternal rest, and also grant the family he has left behind as well as the Nigeria football fraternity the fortitude to bear the loss.”
Reacting to his death, the NPL Chairman Oyuki Jackson Obaseki,reflected on Ogedegbe’s commitment to his mother land and humility which handed him with many national laurels and concluded that his death has indeed closed another chapter of Nigeria national football heroes.
Sambo: Nigeria Names Four-Man Team
The Sambo Association of Nigeria has named a four-man team for their debut at the 13th African Games in Ghana from March 8 to 23.
Sambo is an offshoot of judo, jujutsu, boxing, folk wrestling and is currently recognised by the International Olympic Committee although it is yet to be listed for demonstration at the Olympics.
The contingent is made up of two men and two women, namely Jonah Kajido (79kg), James Chegwam (58kg), Fatima Ogbonyomi (65kg) and Charity Jatau (59kg).
Ahead of what will be the first appearance of the event at the Games, Vice President of SAN, Sheriff Hammed, expressed excitement about the prospect of Nigeria participating in the event.
“We carefully selected these athletes to represent us at the African Games based on their knowledge of the sport and Sambo being one of the demonstration sports in Ghana, we want to ensure that we are well represented in the event.
“This is the first time that Sambo will be part of the African Games as the sport is gaining ground across the globe and Nigeria should not be an exception. For now, the athletes are camping in readiness for the games as we are not just going there to add to the number but to make our presence felt in the event,” he said on Tuesday.
Hammed, who is also the joint Secretary, International Association of Combative Sports (Africa), said participating in the Games would give more people the opportunity to appreciate the uniqueness of the sport, being one of the fast-growing sports in the world.
We are hoping that taking part in the Games would give us the chance to popularise the sport among Africans and Nigerians. More African countries are now embracing the sport and hopefully, it will be part of the Olympics sports very soon with the way it is growing across the globe,” he added.
Nwabali Receives Hero’s Welcome At Chippa United
Nigeria’s goalkeeper, Stanley Nwabali, received a warm welcome back at South African club, Chippa United, on Tuesday, following his remarkable performance at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.
Upon arrival at Port Elizabeth Airport, the 27-year-old was greeted by hundreds of Chippa United fans.
In a video shared on Tuesday, he was seen engaging with supporters, taking selfies and participating in singing the club’s anthem.
Chippa United, via their social media handle, celebrated his return with the message, “He’s Back #NwabaliBobo.”
Nwabali’s standout performance during AFCON 2023 earned him cash gifts, a national honour, and a chieftaincy title in his hometown.
Due to his success, Nwabali has been linked with potential moves to other clubs like Kaizer Chiefs and Union St Gilloise.
Ayienugba Claims Women’s Tennis Gold Medal In Police Games
Winners have emerged in the tennis event at the ongoing 14th biennial Police Games tagged ‘Oluyole 2024’ at the Ibadan Recreation Club with Funke Ayienugba of Zone 2 claiming the women’s singles gold medal.
In a one-sided match, Ayienugba defeated Dike Osinachi of Zone 4 6-0, 6-0 to emerge champion, while in the men’s doubles final, twins Paul and Peter Alakwem of Force Headquarters defeated duo Idris and Aminci of Zone 2 6-1, 6-1 to win the gold medal.
Also, Agnes Ogar and Charity Philips of Zone 7 defeated Adedayo and Oyelowo 6-0,6-0 to emerge champions in the women’s doubles.
In karate individual kata (female category), Rita Edejoh emerged champion, while Zinab Absalam clinched the silver medal, with duo Hamzat Olayinka and Holiness Iyoba ending up in third and fourth positions respectively.
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